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Kashmiri cuisine is known for its variety of meat dishes. Though primarily mutton is common, chicken and fish are eaten quite a lot too. In the wazawan banquet, meats of all kinds are used; mutton, chicken and fish. However, this is not the staple food. The staple food of Kashmir is rice, but meats are very important in every meal. Also, having meat in a meal is considered to be a sign of hospitality. This is not to say that there are no vegetarian dishes, as in every function you will find at least two vegetarian dishes in addition to a variety of meat dishes. Some combinations of meat and vegetables are also quite popular. Some of these include: fish and lotus root, mutton and turnips, and chicken and spinach. In addition these meat dishes, there are also seekh kababs and tabak maz that are very popular.
Other important meat dishes include:
- Minced Meat of 'Goshtaba' and 'Rista'
- Onion & Shallots Emulsion
The popular dishes made of fish include:
- Ranith Gada
- Hogada Ta Hak Ya Bum
Important mutton dishes include:
- Neni Qaliya
- Neni Yakhean
- Shyaem Neni Rogan Josh
- Kabargah Ta Tabaq Maz
In addition to these meat dishes, there are other foods that help bring in a variety. These include the inclusion of fresh fruits, dry fruits, and crisp vegetables. However, the preparations that go into making meat dishes are tedious. There are hours and hours that are put into these preparations, and many preparations include cooking the meat in mustard oil or ghee. Usually, a slow fire is used, and in this process dry ginger, saffron, fennel, and red chilies are added slowly.
Roghan Josh is one of the best meat dishes cooked with mutton. It is cooked in yoghurt, and has a blend of exotic spices.
One more important mutton dish called Marchwangan Korma that is popular in Kashmir cuisine. It is a curry, which is usually served with rice. Also, Nan Methi Kurma is a dish made with chopped intestines.
Besides these meat dishes mentioned above, there are others that are quite popular in Kashmir cuisine.